Veganism Update

Its not going so hot.

Meat hasn't been tough at all. I didnt eat much before so it hasnt been easy to keep that going.

I have the same issue as most other vegans I've come across. Its the CHEESE!!!!!

I bought some vegan cheese to try and get over the hump, but its not cutting it. I have never been a craver. I didnt crave anything when I was pregnant. I never ever have cravings...until now. I crave cheese like crazy.

And icecream. Giving up dairy treats have been rough. I was pretty sure I was going to die yesterday if I didnt have a chocolate icecream cone in Chinatown yesterday. And I totally lost the battle of wills.

Any suggestions from you seasoned vegans?


I usually like to do crafty "Mama Made Its." But today I thought I would do a neat little recipe I tried out this week.
Roasted Grapes
Rainbow Carrots

Most Quinoa recipes I see called for 2 cups of water to 1 cup of Quinoa. But, for me, it turns out mushy instead of fluffy. Instead I did about 1 cup of Quinoa to 1 1/2 cups water. 
Boil the water first. Then add the Quinoa. 
Lower the heat and cover it leaving a little hole for heat to escape. 
This yields a fluffier quinoa. 

I rinsed the grapes and chopped the carrots. I sprinkled the grapes with a little olive oil, plopped them on a baking sheet with the carrots and threw them all in the oven on broil. 
I left them about ten minutes until the skin of the grapes got wrinkly and the carrots were softening but still crunchy. 

Place the grapes/carrots on a bed of Quinoa and your good to go. 
Add some butter or a vinaigrette if the quinoa is too dry for your taste. 

Yum Yum.


Hevea Giveway Winner

Congrats to Skye:

 Poor Miss. Julianna and her 5 teeth. I hope this helps!

Contact me with your info and I will get it on its way to you!

The Office

Does anyone else watch The Office?

Is anyone else not really sure how they feel about the turn its taking?

Will Ferrel?

I love him. 

Elf? Priceless.
Old School? Hilarious.

But I dont know how he is supposed to replace Michael Scott.

I'm not loving it.

I'm not hating it.

I'm just not really sure.



Discovery Museum

I have been a little MIA this week.Its been a busy one. Usually I write the bulk of my posts on Sunday when Cruz is with his Papa, but since he didnt go with Papa this week, I havent been able to string a coherent series of thoughts together long enough to construct any posts.

So, instead, here are some pictures of our recent, and Cruz's first, visit to the Discovery Museum. I dont't know if he has ever loved anything so much

 Dont worry he drug me through the whole tunnel, waddling like a duck!

 He was pretty sure he owned the Quail table. And he was not into sharing it.

I'm super surprised that no one entered the Hevea Teether contest. I'll give it until the end of the week and then announce the winner.


Self Soothing?

 Every since Cruz was born, he has made this noise while he nursed. He only does it when he is tired and trying to fall asleep. Its such a funny little sound. Actually its not a little sound, its pretty loud. Like wish-I -could-turn-the-TV-up-but-I-cant-cuz-your-trying-to-fall-asleep loud!

Have you ever met another kid that does this? My funny little music man.



I try not to take on too many giveaways because I dont want things to feel all "sponsory" here in this space. But when I was contacted by Hevea, it just seemed like perfect timing. They make amazing all natural baby products. Namely pacifiers, bath toys and TEETHERS!! Poor little Cruz is having a terrible time teething lately. He is getting in two more teeth on top and they have really been bugging him, so this was a perfect product to try out! The company sent me one to try out and they also sent me one to give to you!!!

So if you want to be cool like Orlando Bloom (what?!?! I got this off their facebook!)

Go ahead and leave a comment to enter the giveaway. 

The only rule is that you have to be a follower of BMT to enter!

But please check out their website and products here!

And if you "like" them on FB, you can have an extra entry. Just leave an additional comment letting me know you did so.

The giveaway ends on Monday.


Since I have started going to church every sunday, I decided it was high time to invest a good bible. But, despite being rich in love, I am not rich in money. So instead I scrounged up an old "teen" version of a bible that was buried in a closet in my house. And since I was not going to be caught dead carrying a "teen" bible around (people already look at me like a teen mom...or the babysitter. I dont need to solidify the image for them!) I decided to make a cover for it. It is so insanely simple and it takes next to no fabric. In fact I made mine out of the "travel bag" that comes in the box when you buy a pair of TOMS.

So this is my finished cover. But since it was really hard to show the steps because the fabric was white on white, I used some other fabrics to give you the rundown on steps.

3 different fabrics (or all the same, depends on what you want it to look like) for the outside of the cover, the inside and the sleeves. 
Sewing Machine
Measuring Tape
20  minutes of free time (Ha, good luck)

 The first fabric on the left (the umbrellas) will be the sleeves that the cover of the book slide into.
The middle fabric (flowers) will be the outer cover
The right fabric (red) will be the inside/liner
You can also use a piece of interfacing as well if you want the cover to be less flimsy.

Start by measuring the cover of your book. Measure the height of the book by the length of the book when it is completely laid out. Add about and inch all around for seam allowances and a little wiggle room. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowances (but there should be room to use a 1/2 seam allowances if your more comfortable with that).

Here are some standard measurments:
A bible measuring 14 by 9

outer fabric: 15 x 10 rectangle
sleeve fabric: 7.5 x 10
liner fabric: 15 x 10 rectangle

Step one: Take your sleeve piece and fold it in half hotdog style

Step 2: Lay down your inside/liner fabric FACE UP

Step 3: Place your folded sleeves (I used a different piece of fabric for the right sleeve, for demonstration purposes) with the cut edges of the sleeve fabric matching the cut edge of the liner fabric. The folded edge of the fabric should be on the inside.

Step 4: Place the outside/cover fabric on top of all of it FACE DOWN.

When all stacked up it will look like this

second=sleeves (folded)

Step 5: Sew all the way around the four sides, leaving a small 6 inch gap unsewn. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Step 6: Pull the fabric inside to the outside through the 6 inch hole.

Your finished cover will look something like this when it is pulled right side out.

Make sure to sew up the little 6 inch hole. You can topstitch around the whole thing while your at it for a finished look. 

And thats that. A super quick cover for your book!


Mothering Style

I read about Meyers-Briggs mothering style test and I was very interested.

I have to say I was a little bit surprised by the results. Some of it was spot on, but some of it I wasn't so sure of.

First off, when I took the test here: I got the result INFP which is Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving.

INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)

The 'Tuned In' Mother

"Inside our children, I believe, is a truth that tells them what's best for them. I am always listening for that truth."
Aware, astute, and understanding, the INFP mother is sensitive to her child's needs, feelings, and perceptions. By observing and listening to the cues of the whole child, she is "tuned in" and naturally develops an intuitive feel for what he or she needs. Responsive and helpful as well, she tends patiently to those needs as they arise.
The INFP mother is comfortable letting her children follow their own course of development and make their own choices. She offers encouragement and uses her insights to head off trouble and difficult issues.
The INFP mother takes vicarious pleasure giving her children good experiences and watching them enjoy childhood. She's happiest creating pleasant, memorable times for the whole family.
To read the full explanation of an INFP mother click here

But when I took the test here I got ISFP which is Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving.

ISFP (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)

The 'Giving' Mother

"A people pleaser from Day One, it took me 30 years to figure out I could say 'no.'"
Quiet and unassuming in her devotion, the ISFP mother is responsive to her children's needs, offering behind-the-scenes love and support. She is gentle and non-intrusive, flexible and adaptable.
A "be there" mother, the ISFP takes pleasure in physically caring for her children and doing for them. Her best times might be "doing little things" with each child one-on-one.
More than anything, the ISFP mother wants her children to know they are loved. And she enjoys being needed in return.
Dedicated to raising children who are responsible and care for others, she favors a non-directive approach: instilling values by setting a good example. She may be a strong role model for community service.
To read the full explanation of an ISFP mother, click here.

I think that I am a combination of the two.

For starters, I have never been a people pleaser. In any sense of the word. Other peoples opinions of me have never hugely mattered to me. If I dont agree with something or someone, I tend to be a "take it or leave it" kind of person. I have never been overly concerned with making sure that someone likes me or sees things my way. So that was definitely out.

And I dont really have a problem standing up for myself either. If I feel I am being mistreated, I'm not usually intimidated or afraid to voice it.

On the flip side, I have a SUPER hard time saying "No" to Cruz about ANYTHING. Its really hard for me to draw the line with him. Generally, if he wants something, I will give it to him. Up to this point, his happiness has been more important to me then anything else. But as he starts getting older, there have been some places that I've had to lay down the law. Like if something is dangerous or harmful. And especially now that I am working to get him on a schedule. I have a really tough time with schedules and up to this point, everything has sort of been navigated by how Cruz is feeling or what works best for him. But since I am no longer in control of his whole like (seeing as he is spending increasing amounts of time with Papa) I have to accept that there are some places where I am going to have to adapt to the way things are at his Dads, even if I dont whole heatedly agree, because its important for there to be consistency to his life. If he is allowed to act or do things at one house and not at another then there will always be a discrepency and confusion for him. And thats just not conducive to a happy childhood. Since Papa and I vary so much on our parenting styles, its been important for me to learn to adapt and "meet in the middle" on some things. Even though Papa and I dont discuss the details on how we parent or raise Cruz in our separate households, I make the decision in myself to try and fill the void in our parenting choices in order to get things on a more even playing field for Cruz. There are some big things that I will just never compromise on, but there are lots of little things that its just easier to adapt to. I do loose some battles, but I win the war if winning means that Cruz is happy and healthy and continues to be that way into adulthood.

And both test results were right in that I tend to be pretty introverted. I prefer to be in smaller groups of people that I know well vs large groups of people. I get uncomfortable if I go somewhere and I dontok. I can show up on my own time and leave on my own time. Whereas structured play times make me anxious. I am part of a mothers club that I absolutely love, but I miss out on a lot of stuff if it doesnt coincide perfectly with Cruz's schedule for the day. I can easily talk myself out of going to playdates if I think about all that goes into getting Cruz ready and out the door, keeping him occupied in the car so he doesnt freak out (b/c he still HATES the car) dealing with trying to maintain an adult conversation while trying to make sure all Cruzs needs are being met and that he is getting an adequate amount of my attention.

Cruz, to date, hasnt been a huge mingler. He usually prefers to sit quietly in my lap or play right at my feet during playgroups, so i often think he would just prefer to stay home with me. But recently he has started to get more and more outgoing which I think is due, in large part, to his Papa. Cruz has a bunch of cousins on his Dads side including one that lives with his Dad and two that are even younger then him. Plus Papa's new girlfriend has a baby that is just about Cruz's age, so I think that having all those other kids around all the time helps him to come out of his shell a little. And I am super thankful for that. Since Cruz wont be having any siblings anytime soon (at least not on my side, and I will remain his primary caregiver for a while to come) I think its so important to foster that relationship between him and his cousins. I loved growing up really close to my family, my siblings and my cousins. To this day they are my best friend. And I love that he has his cousins to grow up with and I will make sure to do everything I can to instill that sense of family in him as he grows. Even if it means I have to drive a little extra so that he can go to school with his cousins, or reach out to people that I usually wouldn't so that he can have his cousins over to our house, I would be happy to have those little inconveniences for myself if it meant making things better for Cruz.

It was interesting and fun to see someone elses take on my parenting style and be able to reflect on it and take away from it what I choose to. I encourage everyone to take it and see if it coincides with the way that you see yourself or if it helps you to see parts of yourself in a new light. Leave me a comment and let me know how it goes!


I've decided to do it

I've decided to finally take the plunge...into veganism.

I have been contemplating it for a long time now. But I was worried about getting an adequate amount of protein while I was solely breastfeeding. I was concerned that Cruz wouldnt get enough nutrients, vitamins, etc.

Now that he is a big ole' boy (drinking whiskey and rye) and eats three square meals a day, I feel confident enough to make the switch.

There are a few things that have effected my decision. Obviously, the outrageous and disgusting videos that have been circulating the web lately in relevance to animal cruelty. Earthlings is a good place to check them out if your interested.

And then I stumbled upon a T.V show the other day called 30 days. I had never seen it before and it happened to be about a natural born hunter spending 30 days with animal rights activists to see if they could open his mind to their way of thinking. Obviously they showed him some pretty graphic and horrendous stuff. Stuff that cannot be unseen. Stuff that I think of EVERYTIME I look at any meat or dairy.

And I also read this blog, that I absolutely love. She is vegan and recently went into detail about her decision to become vegan. The conversations that ensued in the comments was so inspiring. You should definitely check her out. I just love, love reading Drea's blog.

In reading her blog she brought to attention the cruelty in the lives of the average milking cow. How they are hooked up to metal machines and overpumped all day long. Often resulting in sores and wounds on their utters. After reading that I did a TON of research on it. And the living conditions are just insane. That they never leave their tiny stalls. That they live in their own waste.

So I am making a gradual switch to remove my footprint in the world of animal cruelty.

I would like to specify by saying that I dont have an issue with eating meat. I actually like the taste of some meats. Turkey, chicken, BACON! But I cant stand the animal cruelty. I dont have any opinion at all about anyone who chooses to eat meat. In fact, I do plan on still giving Cruz some amount of meat, fish and dairy. I fear him not getting adequate nutrition while I am still learning how to replace the important parts of animal proteins. And above all else Cruz's health and well being are the most important thing.

Luckily, there is an awesome array of local and small farms and natural resources where I live in California. The one I have chosen to tour and go with is called Strauss farms. They are a free range dairy. For every cow on the dairy there is 2 acres of grazing room. During the warm months the cows are allowed to graze on organically planted grass at their leisure but are always provided shelter and shade. They work with a nutritionist and feed the cows depending on their ages an needs. Calves need a different diet then a pregnant cow or a milking cow. They have clean and dry bedding at all times. They grow about 60% of their own feed. The milk is unhomogenized and the cows obviously ingest no pesticides. They use homeopathic remedies to treat the cows, but if antibiotics are needed to save the cows life, they are permanently removed from the milking herd and allowed to live on the farm. And they have whats called a closed herd meaning they only breed the cows that they raise in order to ensure that organically fed heifers only breed with organically fed bulls. And the milk comes in glass bottles to reduce the waste of plastic ending up in landfills.  So, obviously, I am really excited about this family owned operation and plan to tour the farm in the coming weeks.

I'm excited and invigorated to finally take the plunge.  And a tad bit anxious, as I have never been a great cook and I know this choice will cause me to cook a lot more.

I'll keep you posted!


So Mama Made It is a day late this week. I have been a bit scatter brained lately. 
I made this for a girlfriend who just had her first baby last week. 
Its a crocheted teething string. You just place it in the fridge to get cold and then your little one munch on it to sooth teething pain. 

 You'll need:
Crochet hook (any size depending on how big you want your beads)
                                Yarn. Best to use something soft and without a lot of loose fibers.

If you are unfamiliar with crochet, there are links at the end of this post to show you videos on how to do each stitch that I use. 

1. Ch 2.
6 sc in the first stitch (6 stitches total)

2. Two sc in each sc (12 stitches total)

3. SC2T 6 times (end with 6 stitches)
Slip stitch in first stitch of the round. Ch 1 and fasten off. 

Your final bead should look something like this.

Make as many or as few as you want. I breaded a few strands of yarn together to make the chain. String all your beads onto the chain and tie it off on both ends.

Video tutorials:

Single Crochet (SC)
Single Crochet Two Together (SC2T)
Slip Stitch


Going Batty

We live in a really old farm house. A renovated one room school house. Super old. And we live on about 12 acres. So while its beautiful and whimsical, its also a litte knitty gritty. Lots of bugs, spiders, GIGANTIC wild turkey running wild, all sorts of wild life out here.

Since the day we moved in, there has been a little family of mice living somewhere in my closet. I can hear them moving around anytime things quiet. It was kind of unnerving at first, but I definitely got used to it.

So last night, around 11 or 12am Cruz and I were sleeping and I get woken up by the sound of the mice. I listened to it for a second, waiting to drift back to sleep. Then I realized that it sounded closer then normal. Then closer. Then it sounded like it was right near the bed.

I panicked. WHAT THE HECK.

I didnt want to wake up Cruz, but I had to see whether or not there were little mice crawling around my bed.

So I got up and flicked on the light.

Suddenly, out of nowhere (aka the closet) a bat flew at my head. A BAT. Again, A BAT.

I freaked the freak out!

Where on earth would a bat have been hiding this WHOLE time.

Just flying around my room.

It finally landed in my robe on the back of my door, hanging upside down, all creepy.

I snatched Cruz and made a run for it.

I am sooooooo freaked out.

There is no conclusion to this post. Just that I am thoroughly disgusted that I have been living with a bat.